The Trump administration on Monday, issued a proposal to rescind Obama-era restrictions on hunting predators in Alaska’s national preserves, and give power back to the state to supervise their hunting.

The proposed regulation, which was published online in the Federal Register, would remove a regulatory provision issued by the National Park Service in 2015 that prohibited certain sport hunting practices that are otherwise permitted by the State of Alaska.

The ultimate goal, is to bring federal law closer in-line with Alaska state law.

However, environmental organizations have been quick to lash out and condemn the proposed regulation, saying the 2015 ruling prevented “extreme methods of killing predators.” 

If approved, the proposed regulations would allow hunters to “take any black bear, including cubs and sows with cubs, with artificial light at den sights; harvesting brown bears over bait; take wolves and coyotes (including pups) during the denning season (between May 1 and August 9); take caribou from motorboats under power; take black bears over bait; and use dogs to hunt black bears.” 

Listening to folks who actually live and share the land with these fierce predators, you get a real sense at just how important it is to regulate their populations. That hasn’t stopped those opposed to the rule from calling it a “new low” for the Trump administration’s wildlife policies.

Jamie Rappaport Clark, president for Defenders of Wildlife reportedly said:

Allowing the killing of bear cubs and wolf pups in their dens is barbaric and inhumane. The proposed regulations cast aside the very purpose of national parks to protect wildlife and wild places. The National Park Service should not accept Alaska’s extreme predator control program as a suitable method of managing wildlife and their habitat.

The state, however, argues that current hunting methods barred by the park service “are intended to function as a predator control program,” the proposal said. “The State also maintains that any effects to the natural abundances, diversities, distributions, densities, age-class distributions, populations, habitats, genetics, and behaviors of wildlife from implementing its regulations are likely negligible.”

Image courtesy nps.org

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